At CITES CoP17 last September in South Africa the Parties made a number of Decisions and passed Resolutions that require unprecedented review and oversight over trophy hunting of lion and leopard by the Secretariat, the Animals Committee and the Standing Committee. The Secretariat has been directed to create a CITES Task Force on African Lion to accomplish eleven tasks before CoP18 in three years. That has in turn spurred another structure with the Convention on Migratory Species (CMS) called the Joint CMS-CITES African Carnivores Initiative combining conservation actions on African lion, leopard, cheetah and wild dog. The objective of this effort of the two Conventions is to "jointly address overreaching species conservation and management issues" and to "ensure collaboration on the conservation and management of big cats." Conservation Force and the range countries will need to participate in the Conferences, Committees, Initiatives, and Task Force (all) of both CITES and CMS or pay the consequences.
The 29th CITES Animals Committee Meeting is in Geneva from July 18 through July 21. It will be followed in November by the 69th Standing Committee meeting in Geneva from November 27 through December 1. Conservation Force will send a three-member team to both of those CITES committee meetings because of the importance of the agendas to the hunting world. We will follow-up at the parallel CMS CoP12, October 23-28, 2017 in Manila, where there are separate species proposals to list both lion and leopard on Appendix II of CMS.
CITES Decision 17.115 calls for all the Parties with leopard trophy export quotas to report on the continued justification, non-detriment finding, of their existing leopard export quotas. In short, this calls for new non-detriment findings from each country. The Secretariat, Animals Committee, and Standing Committee will pass on the validity of those quotas and recommend appropriate action on or before the next CoP.
CITES Decisions 17.241 and 17.242 call for the creation of a CITES Task Force on African Lion of unprecedented scale that will directly undertake the study of lion hunting and all of its ramifications. At this Animals Committee meeting in July the terms of reference and modus operandi for the Task Force will be set out.
The reopening of hippo trophy exports from Mozambique also will probably be back on the table at the 29th Animals Committee meeting. It will for sure be discussed at the CITES Standing Committee meeting in December. Conservation Force needs $6,000 to complete one last leg of the surveys necessary for the reopening. Donations should be earmarked as "Mozambique Hippo Survey" and are tax-deductible. Call if there are any questions.